Test pregnant women for smoking.

Sarah - posted on 06/24/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/health...

All pregnant women should be breath tested to determine if they smoke, or if they are exposed to second hand smoke, so the NHS can intervene and help them quit, the Government's public health watchdog has said.

The guidance is likely to prove controversial among pregnant women who may resent so much testing by health authorities and believe that if they say they are a non-smoker, they might not be believed.

What do you think?

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Sharon - posted on 06/24/2010

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I'd feel better if they tested for drugs and forced those women to quit. Yeah smoking is bad, but drugs are worse.

If they attack women who smoke then what about those who drink coffee? Tea? Soda?

I'm sitting here, regretfully shaking my head because I don't think its totally right.

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21 Comments

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La - posted on 06/25/2010

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I don't agree with smoking while pregnant, but if they start testing pregnant women for nicotine they should also test for drugs and alcohol (edit to add) because all are just as harmful.

Becky - posted on 06/25/2010

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Well, what's the difference between telling someone they can't smoke in their car and telling them they can't speed or text while they're driving? It's all putting somebody elsein danger, just in different ways.

[deleted account]

Why not just make woman take a pregnancy test before they are allowed to purchase a pack of smokes? ;)

[deleted account]

Gah.....what's happening to women's rights? I don't think ANYONE should smoke, ESPECIALLY pregnant women BUT testing them for smoking would be crossing a line, IMO! Like the other ladies said, "why not drugs and alcohol?"..."why not pop or coffee?".....testing for these things will just open a can of worms and WILL NOT be affective!

Jessica - posted on 06/25/2010

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Caitlin- I agree that smoking in the car with children is wrong but what right does the government have to say that you can't. What would be the next step coming into your home to make sure you aren't smoking around any children?

C. - posted on 06/25/2010

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What Sharon Grey said.. What about the women that drink coffee, tea and soda while pregnant?? Those can pose serious risks for the mother and/or baby, too.

C. - posted on 06/25/2010

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I don't smoke anymore, but you know.. This is up to the person whether or not they quit smoking. Nobody, not even the NHS, can MAKE someone quit.

While I agree that it can be detrimental to the baby if the mother is smoking while pregnant or around them after they're born, it is still up to the person to determine if they want to quit or if they want to continue endangering their life and most importantly, the life of their child. Not quite sure about this.. But, I am about to go take some meds and go back to sleep (got a tooth pulled).

Becky - posted on 06/24/2010

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I agree with Lindsay, I wish they would test for alcohol use during pregnancy and force women to quit that. However, with both smoking and alcohol, as much as I am disgusted by women who do either during pregnancy, I think it infringes on their rights to test them for it and force them to stop. I do think there should be more support available for women who want to quit and are having a hard time.
Jessica - I live in Calgary! I wish they would hurry up and implement the no smoking in your vehicle with kids in the car law here too.
Also in Alberta, foster parents are not allowed to smoke in their homes or vehicles.

Lyndsay - posted on 06/24/2010

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I don't think it would do anything. You can test them, but you can't make them quit. Unless you're going to put every pregnant smoker on lock-down for the rest of her pregnancy? I smoked when I was pregnant and, although I felt guilty about it, I was coming off some heavier stuff and just couldn't fathom giving up my cigarettes at the time. I was honest with my doctor and I tried to make up for it by eating properly and getting exercise, taking my vitamins, etc. It may seem silly but my doc told me if I wasn't going to quit, thats what I should do. My son was born 4 weeks early but he was about 7lbs so I guess it helped somewhat? Smoking is a hard habit to break, and (I think) not as bad as some other ones out there, like drinking alcohol. They should be more concerned with that. Smoking may cause premature birth but drinking causes life-long birth defects. Either way, people should be honest with their doctors and recieve medical attention accordingly.

[deleted account]

I don't smoke but people around me do. What would happen if i turned up for this breath test after having spent time with even just one of those people who do smoke? Will i be told that i need to quit or will i be told that i should encourage the people around me to quit? Ialready tell the people who smoke around me that they should quit as i hate it around myself and my children. They are respectful of me when i am with them but how could i tell someone ( mother,father For example) to quit?

[deleted account]

Until it's illegal to smoke, then this is incredibly controversial and it's only function is punitive.

Rosie - posted on 06/24/2010

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definitely agree with laci. i don't think it's a bad idea persay, but i don't really think it's going to change anything. i knew it was bad to smoke while pregnant, i still couldn't let go of those 3-4 a day. it's something that a person has to be ready to do, and they can't be forced into. this option of help should be there for everyone, why test them and waste money?

Tanya - posted on 06/24/2010

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I used to smoke. It is a very hard habit to break. I actually quit when I was 5 months pregnant. I have tried to smoke since then but after 10 months they just don't taste the same. I can't say that having a help group would have done any good for me.

Hannah - posted on 06/24/2010

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hmmm. I don't think it is a good idea. While I don't think woman should smoke while they are pregnant, it is their choice. You don't want a woman to smoke while pregnant but they don't care if you abort the baby. It kind of seems contradictory. I have a point with that but can't seem to find the words to express it. :)

Caitlin - posted on 06/24/2010

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Jessica - I think that's a great law! Sadly the kids in the car have no say if the parent wants to smoke, and they can't go anywhere to avoid it, it's bad for their lungs and could contribute to them picking up the habit later in life because they are exposed to high amount of nicotine and smoke. It's simply unfair. I used to hate driving with my dad and stepmom because my dad never smoked, but my step mom smoked like a chimney and I was asthmatic and always wheezy after a car ride with them!

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2010

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I think it steps over a line. Providing care and advice is different then policing habits. I have a love hate relationship with smoking, I enjoy smoking but I know it's not good for me, my kids, or my bank account. I don't smoke around my kids, EVER. I did smoke with 2 of my pregnancies but only 2-3 day. I don't agree with the law that you can't smoke in your car with kids just because it's my car, what gives them the right to tell me what I can and can't do. That being said I don't agree with people smoking the car with their kids but that is their perogative.

I just went all over the place with that answer, so the short and sweet version: Disagree with government involvement, Agree with the reasoning behind it.

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2010

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In Canada, or at least where I live you can't smoke inside anywhere but your own home and you have to be a certain distance away from any building smoking outside. That is in Calgary, I live in Okotoks 20 mins south and all those rules are the same as well as the added rule of no smoking in a car where there are children under the age of 16. I think it's a good rule. :)

[deleted account]

Pregnant women KNOW that you should not drink, smoke, take drugs, ride wild roller coasters, etc. while pregnant! But there are women who still continue their bad habits. I know a few women who continued to smoke during their pregnancies or drank. It's not the government's job to police their behaviors though. If the mom wants to contribute to low birth weight, asthma, premature labor because of her habits, then so be it. Also, one major difference between Europe and the United States (not sure about Canada-please advise) is the fact that more and more states are now banning smoking in public places as opposed to smoking in public in many European countries being the norm. So a pregnant mom will be exposed to second-hand smoke unless she lives in a bubble! But I doubt the smoking police will enforce anything. But it's certainly 2 thumbs up for the effort.

LaCi - posted on 06/24/2010

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I don't know that it would change anything but I think people need to quit lying to their doctors so might as well force the truth out of them. You aren't going to be persecuted for notifying your doctor that you smoke, its a silly thing to lie about.

Sarah - posted on 06/24/2010

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I actually think it's quite a good idea. I smoked while I was pregnant (2 or 3 a day) and I think if I had been made to have a test to show the effects, I might have been able to quit altogether. Also, if they had sympathetic help and guidance, and maybe other pregnant women to help you, it could be a good thing.

At the moment, they literally say to you "Do you smoke?" If you say yes, they say "You can go to the NHS stop smoking site for help with quitting"
I think it would be good for them to take a more active role in helping pregnant women to stop.

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